Our residency, A Forest of Glass, began on 21 October. The four artists Heather Gillespie, Madeline Mackay, Laura Reid from the UK and Wil Sideman from the US arrived safely in Lybster and spent the week preparing their materials and themselves for their eight week adventure.
The project is a partnership between North Lands Creative Glass and the Borgie Forest Cabin Project, with the support of the Forestry Commission Scotland. A Forest of Glass is part of Creative Futures, a Creative Scotland talent development programme which aims to promote the professional development, capabilities, connectivity and ambitions of Scotland’s creative practitioners and organisations. www.creativescotland.com www.creativefutureshq.com
They’ll be staying and working here – North Lands Creative Glass Studio
and here! This is Borgie Forest Cabin.
Borgie Forest is one of the most northerly forests in the UK. The artists will be working in the landscape (in somewhat cooler weather than the pictures suggest) using engraving tools and techniques and creating their own Highland adventure.
Here’s Wil Sideman in the Studio this week.
We asked them for their first impressions…
I have been in Lybster for a few days now and so far it has been a wonderful experience meeting the local people and staff at North Lands. So far meeting engraver Denis Mann has been my highlight, such a sweet man with many years of experience underneath his belt which he is willing to pass on to me and the other residents, it is a true honour for him to be with us.
As from tomorrow I will find myself living and working in a forest, a daunting prospect of having no access to internet, phone, tv or radio, just glass machinery to keep me entertained. It’s exciting but at the same time terrifying!
I have heard the forest and surrounding areas and beaches house spectacular views, which I am looking forward seeing and gathering inspiration for my new works. It’s going to be interesting 8 weeks, one which I think could change my way of thinking and making work.
Being up in Lybster again has been amazing so far, it’s one of my favourite places. It’s been good getting to know the other residents and seeing some familiar faces, and I’m looking forward to heading out to the Borgie forest and getting stuck into some engraving on location. I’m excited about what’s coming next!’
After a busy first week getting to grips with a new medium, I’m looking forward to heading off for Borgie to do some serious drawing and put what I’ve learned into practice. Bring on the wilderness…
This residency represents several unknowns to me both as an artist and as an individual. I have travelled to a new country, I am exploring a new technique and with the introduction of the Borgie Forest, I will be living and working in a very different environment. I have been excited to participate in this residency because I knew it would break me out of my comfort zone and challenge me to expand as an artist.
I could not have been happier to step off the bus at the end of my long journey and be greeted by a fantastic community, welcoming staff and three other excited and hardworking residents. I am unaware of what will come but I am trying to embrace everything that comes my way.
And they headed off today to Borgie Forest.